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31 Days of Howl-oween: Day 01

01 Oct

The leaves are changing colors.  The pumpkins are ready to be picked.  Some rocks are ready to be given to Charlie Brown.  That could only mean one thing.  It’s Halloween time.  In celebration, I am happy to bring you a review of a different Halloween themed film every day this month.  I deliberately am going to seek out the rare and hard to find features, as well as those that are a little more readily available.  My only hope is that you too will start a list, add some of these to it, and find some true treasures.

So sit back, dim the lights, and have a frightfully good time, as we begin…

31 Days of Howl-oween

A Review of Films Filled with Frights

Day 01

Film #01

~ Kiss of the Vampire ~

Director:  Don Sharp
Year:  1962
Cast:  Clifford Evans, Edward De Souza, Jennifer Daniel, Noel Willman
Language:  English
Country:  United Kingdom
Specs:  88 mins. / Color / OAR 1.66:1 / MPAA Rating: NR

Gerald and Marianne Harcourt (de Souza and Daniel), two lovers on their honeymoon find themselves stranded in a remote Bavarian town.  Count Ravna (Willman), a local aristocrat who lives in the town castle, invites them to stay as a temporary inn.  Unbeknownst to them, the count is the leader of a vampire cult — and he has disastrous plans for Gerald and the lovely Marianne, whom the count would like for himself.

Hammer Film Productions films have always been in my “must see” list come Halloween time.  Without question, Kiss of the Vampire is certainly on that list.  While not featuring the matchless Christopher Lee as the head blood sucker, the character of Dr. Ravna is riveting in his own nostalgic way.  The film features enough suspense for any fan of classic horror to delight in.

The Masquerade Ball scene is quite eerie, with all the creepy masks sending the faintest of chills up the spine.  I found it to be oddly reminiscent of Stanley Kubricks mesmerizing “Eye’s Wide Shut” ball.  The story itself was entertaining, and thankfully, not too contrived.  In fact, it is “Twilight Zone”-ish in its suspense.

However, I did find the scene at the end of the film lacking, becoming rather vacuous, and not quite as fulfilling as I had expected.  Unfortunately, the film suddenly ends on that scene, bringing any kind of suspense to an abrupt halt.  It certainly could have lasted another few minutes to bring some resolution to an otherwise enjoyable excursion into the world of vampires.

No Trick here.  Certainly a Treat.

My Rating**** / B-

Available from Amazon: Kiss of the Vampire

Stay Tuned…

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Posted by on October 1, 2010 in Movies

 

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